Respondus FAQ for Instructors and Students
Students can choose not to consent to using Respondus. In this case, instructors should have a Plan B in place. TLSS can provide faculty members with information on a variety of alternatives to manage exams and academic assessments. Contact us at saea-tlss@uOttawa.ca.
Respondus Monitor uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) software to flag questionable behavior during testing so that instructors can review flags for potential cheating or other testing concerns. The recordings are scanned for suspicious behavior. The algorithms detect more than one face in camera view, the student reaching or looking outside the camera view, and turning the webcam off, among other suspicious activities outlined in detail below:
- Missing from Frame— the student could not be detected in the video frame for a period of time
- Different person in Frame— a different person from whom started the exam may have been detected in the video frame for a period of time
- Multiple persons in Frame— multiple faces are detected in the video for a period of time
- An Internet interruption occurred— a video interruption occurred as a result of an internet failure
- Video frame rate lowered due to quality of internet connection— if a poor upload speed is detected with the internet connection, the frame rate is automatically lowered for the webcam video
- Student exited LockDown Browser early— the student used a manual process to terminate the exam session early; the reason provided by the student is shown
- Low Facial Detection— facial detection could not be achieved for a significant portion of the exam
- A webcam was disconnected— the web camera was disconnected from the computing device during the exam
- A webcam was connected— a web camera was connected to the computing device during the exam
- An attempt was made to switch to another screen or application— indicates an application-switching swipe or keystroke combination was attempted
- Video session terminated early— indicates the video session terminated unexpectedly, and that it didn't automatically reconnect before the exam was completed by the student
- Failed Facial Detection Check— facial detection could not be achieved during the Facial Detection Check portion of the startup sequence
- Student turned off facial detection alerts— the student selected "Don't show this alert again" when the facial detection alert appeared during the assessment. The student did not receive alerts after this.
Videos of exam sessions are stored in Respondus servers for 1 year. The course must be active (or restored) in order for video links to be available to the instructor. It is possible to extend this duration upon institution’s request.
Only users with a “Faculty” role in Brightspace courses are able to access the Respondus LockDown Browser. Users with other roles including “Teaching Assistant” can still create quizzes but only users with “Faculty” role can enable the Respondus LDB or access the dashboard to see results.
LockDown Browser is a custom browser that secures the testing environment for the Quizzes tool in Brightspace. Students are unable to copy, print, access other applications, or visit other websites during an online exam.
Respondus Monitor is a companion application for LockDown Browser that uses a student’s webcam to record the student during a Brightspace quiz attempt. Respondus Monitor flags suspicious behavior for instructors to review. In order to enable Respondus Monitor, the quiz will be required to use Respondus LockDown Browser.
To help students get familiar with whichever option you select, instructors should always create a simple one question practice quiz with Respondus enabled. This allows students to practice with the technology prior to needing it on a live quiz.
Instructors can view Respondus Monitor reports from within the Quizzes tool in Brightspace. To locate these reports, select Quizzes, and then select the LockDown Browser Tab. From there, click on the dropdown menu next to the name of the quiz you want to review and select Video Review.
The sample text below can be used in your course or syllabus. It explains that students must use LockDown Browser for their online tests and possibly use a webcam.
Notice of Collection of Personal Information - Respondus
In accordance with the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”) and with the University of Ottawa (the “University”) Policy 90, your personal information is collected under the authority of the University of Ottawa Act, 1965.
Your personal information collected for remote proctoring will be used by the University for the purposes of and those consistent with the fulfillment of the course learning activities, administering online exams and maintaining the academic integrity of the exam process. After each evaluation, the personal information collected during the remote proctoring session will be reviewed by your instructor (or their designate) for the purposes stated above. The personal information collected may be used where academic fraud is alleged as described in Academic regulation I-14 - Academic fraud.
If you have questions about the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information in this notice, please contact your instructor. Questions of a general nature regarding the collection, use and disclosure of information should be addressed to the Chief Privacy Officer by email at email@example.com.
Using LockDown Browser and a Webcam for Online Exams
This course requires the use of LockDown Browser and a webcam for online exams. The webcam can be built into your computer or can be the type that plugs in with a USB cable. Watch this short video to get a basic understanding of LockDown Browser and the webcam feature. Then download and install LockDown Browser.
Taking the Exam
When taking an online exam that requires LockDown Browser and a web cam, remember the following guidelines:
- Ensure you're in a location where you won't be interrupted.
- Turn off all other devices (e.g. tablets, phones, second computers) and place them outside of your reach.
- Clear your desk of all external materials not permitted — books, papers, other devices.
- Remember that LockDown Browser will prevent you from accessing other websites or applications; you will be unable to exit the test until all questions are completed and submitted.
The average time for an exam video to be processed and available to an instructor is 8 hours. The time can be greater during periods of high volume. During periods of low volume, the time to process the video is roughly equal to the actual length of the video.
This option exists, in which case you must specify this option in the configuration and give the student a digitated password.
The iPad app for LockDown Browser allows students to use an iPad to take exams that require LockDown Browser, either alone or with Respondus Monitor (webcam). Instructors must allow the use of iPads within the LockDown Browser Advanced Settings for each exam, as shown below:
A calculator (standard or scientific) can appear in the toolbar for LockDown Browser if instructors enable it for the exam in the LockDown Browser Advanced Settings.
Instructors can allow students to access specific websites during a test that requires LockDown Browser using the following steps:
- To allow students access to an individual page on a website, instructors simply need to include the link to the page in a test question. With this approach, students can view the initial web page but all links and navigation on that page are blocked.
- To allow access to entire sites – such as an ebook or media site – the instructor must additionally apply the Advanced Setting called “Allow access to specific external web domains”.
When previewing a quiz, Brightspace shows you a generic student view so you can make sure your quiz is displaying properly. However, The LMS knows that your true role in the system is a professor, hence it bypasses restrictions like Respondus.
Respondus Monitor uses many factors to determine which student videos should be flagged for review. This tool is unable to determine which flagged videos are actually worthy of concern the way an instructor will be able to. These flags are intended to be used for guidance, but when utilizing Respondus Monitor you should anticipate a fair number of false flags. There is unfortunately no way to ensure Respondus Monitor will only flag behaviors with which you should actually be concerned, so you will have to review any flags it presents to utilize this tool properly.
Absolutely, the video that covers the entire exam is also available, here is how to access it. To see how it works, please see the answer to the question: How do I view Respondus Monitor's Suspicious Activity Reports?
Only a professor can submit a request to download the exam recordings. The videos of the exam sessions are stored on Brightspace for 1 year. The course must therefore be active (or restored) for the video links to be available to the professor. Here is the procedure for requesting a video download link:
No. The student can show other forms of identification. This is step 6 in the Respondus Monitor startup sequence, the student simply needs to show a valid university or government ID to the camera. Here is an example of this step:
There is no algorithm that analyzes the cards from the database with the student's input. This is done manually by the professor during his review of the recordings by comparing the photo on the ID with the person taking the exam.
Here is an example of what the teacher will have as information for each step:
Yes. Both webcam and microphone need to be functional and enabled on your computer at all times during the assessment. If you do not have one or both of these capabilities, please contact your instructor.
During your assessment while the Respondus Monitor is enabled, the software collects video and audio recordings captured by your webcam and microphone, an image of your student ID, and data regarding your activity, including eye movement and the time taken by you to answer specific questions. The software also uses automated processes to help instructors to evaluate the recordings.
Student information including name, grades, course name, and photos taken for identification cards is only accessible through Brightspace. Respondus cannot view or access your student information on the LMS.
Only authorized faculty or staff have access to view video and audio recordings of your assessment along with personal information such as your name. Authorization is granted on a course-by-course basis and is restricted to the following personnel:
- Your course instructor(s) and teaching assistant(s)
- Proctor(s) authorized by your Faculty
- uOttawa LMS administrators (4 persons)
Respondus Monitor uses industry standard SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption to transfer information. Respondus uses independent, third-party security firms to perform "penetration testing" of the Respondus Monitor system. This includes a review of the Respondus Monitor architecture and the testing for vulnerabilities and exploits.
Within the LMS, student identifiable information including name, grade, course name, and photos that show identification cards can only be accessed by authorized personnel.
Only users with instructor credentials for the LMS course (e.g., instructors, teaching assistants, proctors, LMS administrators) can view video sessions in conjunction with student identifiable information.
During the assessment it is recommended that you situate yourself in a quiet and unoccupied space, where other persons inside your dwelling will not be observed, and remove or conceal personal property bearing images or names (e.g. family photographs or signs) to further maintain your privacy.
There isn’t a specific kb/s requirement for using a webcam with Respondus Monitor because the recording quality automatically adjusts when a slower connection is detected.
If the user has a decent broadband connection that doesn’t result in significant delays when accessing the learning system, the bandwidth will be fine for Respondus Monitor. If using a shared Internet connection, students should ensure that others on the same connection don’t use bandwidth-hungry services during the exam (such as online movies, games, file sharing, etc.).
Respondus does not work on Chromebooks and if that is only the device available , please contact your professor for alternate options.
If you start a quiz using Respondus LockDown Browser and you find the font too small to read, you can increase the zoom level in your browser. Just click on the “i” icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen.
This will open a new window (titled “Respondus LockDown Browser – Information”), where you can adjust the zoom level. Select your preferred zoom level, and then click “Apply,” and click “OK” to close the information window.
Respondus LockDown Browser accessibility details are as follows:
For Windows user: The Windows version of LockDown Browser allows a student to use screen reader accessibility programs, such as JAWS and Windows-Eyes. However, the security level of LockDown Browser is lowered when screen readers are used. Students who use screen readers must contact their instructor prior to the evaluation so that the instructor enables the use of the screen reader application during their examination.
For Mac users: The Mac version of LockDown Browser works with VoiceOver, which is the standard screen reader that comes with the Mac OS). LockDown Browser's functions and security remain the same when VoiceOver is used.
Students can get support directly from Respondus if they are having trouble downloading the software or are unable to access a quiz after launching the browser. Support can be obtained from the Respondus Student Help page.
No. Respondus does not require Kernel/Root access permission to operate. In fact, it doesn’t perform any action on the user’s device without the user's consent. At start up, LockDown Browser pulls the open processes from the “Task Manager” of the device and requires the user to close those that are pertaining to communications platforms such as :
As seen in the above picture, the user can choose to either close the process and proceed with the LockDown Browser launch or simply leave the LDB platform. Respondus has no control or power in forcing this step and hence it does not have Kernel access on the device.
No. Respondus does not have any access or control on collecting data over networks layers of external devices. It simply prevents the student from leaving the LockDown Browser environment and requires the student to shut down applications related to screen capturing, messaging, screen-sharing etc. until the examination is submitted for grading.
Please note that accessibility software such as JAWS and VoiceOver are allowed to run in parallel with Respondus LDB.
Brightspace LMS does not offer a feature within the Quizzes tool for real-time communication with Instructors. Instructors will provide a communication method should students need to reach them during the examination.
Students can talk directly to the camera and notify the professor that they will be going to the bathroom. This will result in a flag according to the following flagging event:
Missing from Frame— the student could not be detected in the video frame for a period of time.
However, Professors will be able to review them and analyze those that are actually worthy of concern.
No. The instructor will specify which other forms of identification will be accepted. The official University of Ottawa student or employee card is the preferred form of identification.
Respondus LockDown Browser accessibility details are as follows:
The Mac version of LockDown Browser works with VoiceOver (the standard screen reader that comes with the Mac OS). LockDown Browser's functions and security remain the same when VoiceOver is used.
The Windows version of LockDown Browser allows a student to use screen reader accessibility programs, such as JAWS and Windows-Eyes. However, the security level of LockDown Browser is lowered when screen readers are used. To address this, the instructor must enable a setting that permits specific students to use a screen reader application with LockDown Browser.
Training, Guide and Support
Here is a selection of important resources:
- Training Webinars with Live Q&A - These 45-minute trainings are the best way for instructors to learn how to use Respondus Monitor for online proctoring. Each session is followed by an extended Q/A period where questions are answered live. Register: https://go.respondus.com/e/710093/webinars-/kmwsx/93844135?h=ihIsAKfaXiXmuNhcCoTh9lM5uzyAg4N8rhDCIp-yi3o
- Rapid Rollout Guide for Instructors - Here is the essential information for using Respondus Monitor with online exams: https://go.respondus.com/e/710093/rapid-rollout-instructors-/kmwsz/93844135?h=ihIsAKfaXiXmuNhcCoTh9lM5uzyAg4N8rhDCIp-yi3o
- 24/7 Live Chat - Remember that students can access built-in troubleshooting and live chat from within Respondus Monitor if they encounter a technical problem. You can find more resources for students, including how to access Live Chat, here: https://go.respondus.com/e/710093/student-help-/kmwt2/93844135?h=ihIsAKfaXiXmuNhcCoTh9lM5uzyAg4N8rhDCIp-yi3o
- Respondus Knowledgebase - https://support.respondus.com/support/index.php?/Knowledgebase/List
- Resources on LockDown Browser - https://web.respondus.com/he/lockdownbrowser/resources/
- Resource on Respondus Monitor - https://web.respondus.com/he/monitor/resources/